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Friday, November 10, 2006

Permanent Minority?

I laughed out loud in my truck driving home from South Bend last night as I listed to Fred's talk show on WKRS; one of the callers and Fred were talking about how the GOP could make it self a permanent minority party in the next two years. I not only disagree with their thought, but think the Democrats may want to enjoy the Senate for the short time they'll hold it. It will be GOP controlled in the 111th Congress. (You can mark that on the calendar if you like).

They did, however, make a couple of good points, that I do have some agreement with. First and foremost, the evangelical right has to become a secondary player on the GOP stage, not the lead actor.

As much as the media in this election tried to push the idea the "religious right" was going to become a bunch of Democrats, they are nuts, and anyone with three firing synapses knows that to be true. They have a better chance of voting for libertarians than they do Democrats in large numbers because of the abortion and stem cell issues.

That said, those two issues need to be removed from the party platform. The GOP needs to not even mention abortion or stem cell research in the next round of campaigns.

Abortion is easy, use the basic "stare decisis" verbology from Supreme Court hearings. The party platform should be it's decided law, and keep the feds out of it at this point. That doesn't mean a state like South Dakota shouldn't try another ballot amendment, it just means the GOP shouldn't be using it as a party plank.

Stem Cell research is a losing arguement because, quite simply, it's too easy to confuse Average Joe on that issue. My guess is 90% of the voters probably can't tell you a few things on that issue, like what are the three major types, and who was the first president to allow federal funding of one of them. Answers: Emryonic, Cord Blood, and Adult are the three major categories and George Bush was the first President to allow federal funding of Embryonic research.

If they are going to have stem cells in the platform, then they need to, IMHO, allow federal funding on donated embryos. Bush's policy was a huge change is US policy towards embryonic research, and it was used to confuse people, and again I think wrong on the subject of donated lines of cells. Creating stem cells to experiment on is wrong, I think, especially when there are hundreds of thousands of embryos that won't ever by used for Invitro fertilization. So allow them to be used.

Finally, Social Security and Medicare need to come back to the table in 2008, in a dark and scary way. Remember how Ross Perot got his 18% of the vote, charts, etc on the federal deficit? Well the Social Security and Medicare funding issues need to be a big issue in that manner. The Democrats won't try to do anything about either in the next two years, it's two risky. They need to be beaten over the head with it in 2008, and as I wrote in previous post, starting with the 2007 State of the Union Adress.

Democrats won't like it, but Bush, and who ever is going to run for his office on the GOP side need to talk about the fact that two Presidents in a row have now called for Social Security reforem, and the same party, the Democrats, have been the group to stop Congress from fixing the problem.

The Democrats own logic on the idea of 401(k)'s being turned to annuities needs to be applied to Social Security. If, as they are proposing, your 401 should be turned into a lifetime annuity, which will end up in the stock and (public) bond markets to fund it, why is that same idea too dangerous for Social Security? That question needs to be brought up, because there is no good answer for it.

In fact, the only answer for that question is the government thinks it's okay to come up with a program foryour money, but not what they consider their money, which is what they consider your Social Security taxes.

It would be very easy for Congress to write Social Security reform that puts part of the surplus each year off limits, and invests it outside the government, but still keep a safety net in place in case the market tanked so bad it would kill the program.

I know a lot of the social conservative folks won't like what I wrote today, but quite honestly, I don't care. They need to look at themselves as part of the problem, which they are in many areas, Rick Santorum and Missouri's Stem Cell amendment show that far right social conservatism doesn't appeal to as many folks as the evangelicals believe. Partially because of confusion, yes, but partly because of common sense.

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Blogger Praguetwin said...

Creating stem cells to experiment on is wrong, I think, especially when there are hundreds of thousands of embryos that won't ever by used for Invitro fertilization. So allow them to be used.

And this is where the GOP really falls down because they won't allow it. Lt. Gov. Steele who lost a close race in Marylin sounded like a total idiot on "Meet the Press" when Tim pressed him on the issue. Essentially, the argument that using these unwanted embroys for research amounts to killing is just plain stupid and anyone but a religious zealot knows this.

Steele was talking about the adoption option for these embryos without even considering who might carry the embryo to term. Idiocy.

Also, did anyone apply for a Federal grant for embryotic stem cell research which was denied under Clinton? My understanding is that it is so new that Bush was the first president to consider federal funding for embryotic stem cell research. But I really don't know.

Finally, on the same issue, my understanding is that although the funding is decent, there is plenty of private funding available and many universities willing to do the research, but Bush has blocked the use of the embryos in question which is slowing the pace of the research.

Kudos to you for seeing strait on this one.

8:30 AM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

Yes, PT, anyone who applied under previous adminstrations was denied. From 1973 (Roe) through 1995 it was because of some odd language that required review by an advisory board that disolved in 1980. Since 1995 it's been because of the Dickey Amendent, which outlawed federal funding for the research.

However, privately funded research has never been affected by any federal law on the topic, even Bush's allowing of federal funding in Aug. 2001.

3:17 PM  
Blogger Praguetwin said...


11:02 AM  

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